Lots to Celebrate: Connie’s 50th Birthday
October 13th is a very special day for (RED) Ambassador, Connie Mudenda. Not only is it her 50th birthday, but it’s also the 16th anniversary of the day she was given another gift of life: access to antiretroviral medication (ARVs).
Connie’s story encapsulates the entire trajectory of the AIDS fight over the past three decades and serves as a beacon of hope for the future of this virus.
In the 90s, before testing, treatment, and even knowledge of HIV was commonplace, Connie unknowingly contracted HIV and passed the virus on to her three children. Tragically, all three of her children passed away. Despite this unspeakable tragedy, Connie summoned the strength to carry on and committed her life to activism.
Connie’s HIV diagnosis allowed her to enroll in ARV treatment, which has kept her healthy and thriving for 16 years. Thanks to those ARVs, Connie became a mother again when she gave birth to a beautiful, HIV-free daughter named Lubona in November 2012.
400 babies are born with HIV every day, but Connie and Lubona are living proof that this doesn’t have to be the case. By ensuring women like Connie have access to ARVs and other health services, we can prevent the transmission of HIV to their babies and end AIDS.
While there is a lot to celebrate on Connie’s birthday and ARV anniversary, today is also a reminder to keep our feet on the gas. As COVID-19 threatens to disrupt so many essential HIV programs, there has never been a more important time to take action.
When you shop (RED), you join the fight to ensure everyone, everywhere has access to life-saving healthcare services.